Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Clearing up

Off to the lotty for the first time this week to do some clearing up.  We shifted the concrete posts and bricks and other junk so we could see the wood for the trees.

wild flower garden before
I cut the grass and pulled up huge weeds in the area from the compost bin to the tree stump and strewed some soil mixed with wild flower seeds.  I am not convinced any will make it, they were 'old' and the area is pretty rough by any standard and they really would be better started off indoors much earlier in the year, but it was worth a shot.  Would be lovely if some did get their feet down.  If it works I will do the whole of the back section in my area next year.

The ones sown this year were:  Love-in-a-mist, Harebell, Oxe-eye Daisy, Ragged Robin, Cowslip.  Aren't the names truly evocative - lying in some long grass looking up at a blue sky in your long summer holidays from school ....

Back to now and reality.  This is the area I described after the clear-up and the seed sowing.  The slab is where a council water butt will go.

The two upright grow bags have a courgette plant in each of them.  They are a bit of an experiment.  Courgettes are shallow rooting but spread for miles so they do best in a large area.  I have only ever grown them in pots.  I decided if I gave them a whole bag to themselves they might just send their roots down instead of out - does it work like this in nature?  I have also planted one in each corner of the mixed bed.  There are salad leaves butted up to them right now but I suspect they will have been grown and eaten by the time the courgettes get going so they can then have as big a space as they need in each corner and hang over the edges of the bed so at least half of the growth won't be covering up valuable planting areas for the shallow rooted lettuce, radish and stuff which will be planted as we bowl along through the summer with successional planting.

I just love theory - don't you?

Ken cleared a bit of the walking around (aka paths) area too but I think I will just blast the stuff with weed killer (carefully).  I am not sure if I want to invest in membrane and wood chips this year to make paths; I am still in the see how I feel about it all at the end of the season mode.

My handy man also shinned up on the bean bed using a plank across to attach the upright bamboo bean poles to the cross bar.  My brains - his muscle!  I had a terrific photo of it taken by Ken, balancing on his plank, but somehow I chucked it away.  This is an over-cropped picture but it might show how we did it.  

Basically they are the plastic clips that you can make a wigwam with.  The uprights are alternated front and back of the centre pole, the vertical being pushed through a hole in the clip and the clip then being shoved onto the cross bar.

Here's the finished construction.

The thinking behind it is that the runner beans just take up a row just like everything else so they don't hog all the space.

From left to right - 
- peas and sticks to grow up
- broad beans (now also planted in a row)
- runner beans
- spring onions
- radishes
- cut and come again leaves
- a courgette plant in each corner

Not bad for 36 square feet - hopefully even more to come.

If you want to see close up of courgettes, and other stuff and how my potatoes and rhubarb are doing, not to mention the bonny compost bin, have a look at the photo album.

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